Powerful Report: Disney Threatens to Terminate 71-Year-Old Organization

in Disney, Entertainment, Sports

Mickey Mouse in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle

Credit: Disney

The power that The Walt Disney Company can wield, according to reports, is absolutely astonishing.

From its humble beginnings as a cartoon studio, Disney has expanded its empire to encompass film production, television networks, theme parks, and more. With beloved characters like Mickey Mouse and franchises such as Frozen (2013), Disney has captured the hearts and imaginations of audiences worldwide, becoming synonymous with family-friendly entertainment.

Disney castle logo with Bob Iger in the foreground
Foreground Image Credit: Glennia, Flickr

In addition to its animated classics and blockbuster films, Disney has made strategic acquisitions to further solidify its position in the entertainment industry. Purchases of Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Entertainment, and Lucasfilm have not only added immensely popular franchises like Toy Story (1995), The Avengers (2012), and Star Wars (1977) to its portfolio but also diversified its offerings across different demographics and genres.

Moreover, Disney’s influence extends beyond traditional entertainment realms into the realm of sports. Through its subsidiary ESPN (Entertainment and Sports Programming Network), the company has become a powerhouse in sports media coverage. ESPN boasts multiple television contracts with major sports leagues such as the NFL (National Football League), NBA (National Basketball Association), MLB (Major League Baseball), and CFB (College Football), allowing it to deliver comprehensive coverage of sporting events to millions of viewers around the globe.

ESPN Disney
Credit: ESPN Wide World of Sports

In a powerful report, a popular YouTube channel that covers College Football has shared that the latest intel points to a “catastrophic meltdown for the ACC,” which is currently facing lawsuits from two of its most recognized members: Florida State and Clemson. But, what’s interesting is the report’s allegations of where the pushing against the ACC might be coming from. A quick guess? ESPN, which is owned by The Walt Disney Company.

“Brace yourselves, College Football Addicts! Our latest intel points to a potential catastrophic meltdown for the ACC. Florida State, Clemson, North Carolina, NC State, Miami, Virginia and Virginia Tech are close to being pushed to the edge.”

The report indicates that ESPN is giving the ACC an ultimatum to settle with both Clemson and Florida State to allow the two member institutions to walk away from the conference and join the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

Both Clemson and Florida State are embroiled in lawsuits against the ACC– one that was filed in Florida by Florida State, a countersuit filed by the ACC in North Carolina, one that was filed in South Carolina by Clemson, and a countersuit filed by the ACC in North Carolina for this lawsuit, as well.

In the video, the report shares that ESPN “wasn’t happy” with the ACC adding SMU, Stanford, and California to its member institutions and that the ACC has already violated its bylaws multiple times. What’s more interesting is that ESPN, which has a television agreement with the ACC, has the opportunity to not move forward with the deal if it chooses to do so by February 2025.

ESPN is allegedly telling the ACC that it will not move forward with the TV contract so that it can renegotiate rather than continue to pay for the conference, knowing that both FSU and Clemson are likely to leave the conference in the future regardless of what happens. The June 30th date was noted multiple times, and you can hear the full report above.

walt disney in front of sleeping beauty castle
Credit: Walt Disney Archives

What’s truly driving ESPN to want to make this move? While the report doesn’t go into it, the truth of the matter is that ESPN doesn’t want to see Clemson and Florida State leave for FOX and join the Big Ten.

If the two football programs were to leave and join the Big Ten, it would stand to reason that the SEC would again need to expand. However, there would be no available programs at that point that would have the same level of television ratings as Clemson and Florida State because this is all powered by football.

There have been rumors that UNC and UVA might be on the list of expansion candidates for the SEC, and this would make sense, but having the Big Ten swoop in and grab two schools that fit in perfectly geographically with the SEC would not sit well with ESPN.

At this point, though, it’s important to note that there are many theories and questions on the horizon. Nothing has been confirmed, and these lawsuits are still moving forward through court proceedings, but it will be interesting to see how Disney and ESPN, which is ultimately led by Bob Iger, choose to play this out. Please keep in mind that this report is not a confirmation.

For those who are wondering what this means for Disney, we detailed a complete breakdown of what these lawsuits could mean for the company moving forward.

in Disney, Entertainment, Sports

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